Big Idea: Like maintaining a garden, a healthy garden produces life, but an unhealthy, or unmaintained garden, produces death.

ScripturesFrom the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 18:20-21 ESV

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:29-32 ESV

We always have a choice to speak words of life, or words of death

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.  Proverbs 10:19 ESV

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. Proverbs 15:1,2,4,28 ESV

Whoever covers an offence seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
Proverbs 17:9 ESV

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy. Proverbs 12:18-20 ESV

And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.
Matthew 15:10-11

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  Psalms 34:13-14 ESV

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.  If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 

Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,  but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
James 3:2-12 ESV

Positive words feed our souls

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Colossians 4:6 ESV

For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarrelling ceases.
As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
Proverbs 26:20, 21 ESV

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26 ESV

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
Proverbs 17:27-28 ESV

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.Titus 3:1-2 ESV

A prayer for this week

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalms 141:3 ESV

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight,O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14 ESV

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